Chiquita Lockett, a North Carolina mom, says her 9-year-old son Emanyea has been suspended from school after calling a teacher “cute.” Wait, it gets worse. The principal of Brookside Elementary in Gastonia is calling the incident a form of “sexual harassment.”
Lockett told WSOC TV that a substitute teacher overheard Emanyea tell another student a teacher was cute and was suspended as a result (he’s spent the past two days at home).
I’m a firm believer in boundaries, especially when it comes to teacher-student relationships, but if this is in fact the entire story – i.e., if there’s not more that went on aside from a 9-year-old thinking his teacher’s cute – then this is totally ridiculous!
Just earlier today, we mentioned a separate incident about a 7-year-old Boston boy being charged with sexual harassment for kicking his alleged bully in the crotch. I don’t take the idea of sexual harassment lightly yet neither of these cases, as reported, seems to fit the bill. To me, they sound like adults over-reacting.
“It’s not like he went up to the woman and tried to grab her or touch her in a sexual way,” Lockett said. “So why would he be suspended for two days?”
According to the station, a district spokeswoman said she could not go into detail, but said the boy was suspended for “inappropriate behavior” after making “inappropriate statements.”